Thursday 8 August 2019

The Cursed (Hong Kong, 2018)

The Cursed

Hong Kong | 2018 | D: Yip Wai Ying

A doctor (Ah Mui) living in Hong Kong with her two ‘sisters’ receives a letter from Malaysia. A grandmother that she doesn’t remember has died and left her an inheritance. To collect it, she must return to Malaysia.

So, this is a horror film. But while watching the movie, it veered so much into comedy territory that it stopped being remotely scary after about 30 minutes.  The scary child thing has been done so many times in Asian cinema, that unless you can top The Grudge, there’s no point even trying.

What we have here is a typical Asian cinema possession film. With a decent cast, decent director and decent effects crew, something good could have been made out of the material. But the cast is dialling in their performance most of the time, the director seems to struggle to get anything other than over-the-top performances from the actors and the effects aren’t even worth mentioning. Those morphing effects stopped being impressive in the 80s – even in Asian cinema – so it’s a mystery why its overused so much here!

Perhaps the biggest crime this movie commits is its treatment of Lam Suet – Hong Kong cinema royalty. There wouldn’t be a big budget movie made in Hong Kong over the last 10-15 years that hasn’t starred him in it, so the fact he is in this says one of two things: this movie either had a big budget or someone forced him. Lam, if you are being held against your will, just let us know – we’ll send someone to come and save you!

No point discussing the story because its utter rubbish. Most of it makes no sense, and the payoff at the end reeks of a rush job. The usual plot holes are so massive in this film, that even when the movie tries to explain what is going on, more questions are left unanswered. Also, lets discuss the stereotypes: tattoos and Doc Martens = lesbian? You’re better than that Hong Kong.

Thankfully, at under 90 minutes, it’s a short film. It’s an even shorter film if you choose not to watch it in the first place.

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